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The Thunderbolt, or TBolt, is a powerful, precision-fired Missile mounted only on a handful of units. Thunderbolts can be guided to a target by TAG Laser, but can have trouble hitting oddly positioned or fast-moving targets as their turn speed is very low.

Two TBolts are capable of devastating most Light Mechs with precise hits to the Rear Torso Armor, and can also heavily damage the majority of Medium and Heavy Mechs. It is also possible to kill the Pilots of Mechs by hitting the Cockpit, although in most cases it is pure luck. TBolts also have significant splash damage, allowing them to deal damage to several Armor components at the same time.

Upon impact, TBolts create large explosions and an intense flash, which can be blinding in Night Vision, and can also cause severe Cockpit shake.

The most effective way to use TBolts is to fire them at Tagged Heavy or Assault Mechs from 1000 meters, allowing the TBolter to avoid most enemy fire. These units are too slow to effectively dodge the TBolt, thus increasing the chance of a hit. One can also unleash a sneak attack by performing a dumb-fire of a TBolt barrage while in passive radar mode, as long as your target is either stationary or moving slowly and can't see you coming.

Air Thunderbolts work a bit differently from their ground-based siblings in that they are very effective against larger, less maneuverable aircraft but deal almost no damage at all to ground assets. In this way, it is best to treat Air TBolts strictly as an air-to-air missile weapon.

Only Inner Sphere units may make use of Thunderbolt launchers.

Weapon Stats

Weapon Min Range Max Range Lock On
Lock On
Splash Damage/Shot Damage
Splash Radius
Max Speed
Ammo cost
TBolt5 --- 1940m 750m 1s 327 Missile 1.5m 10 52 600 50 20 800
TBolt10 1.5s 654 10 105 80 10
TBolt15 2s 980 8.3 131 110 7
TBolt20 2.5s 1308 7.5 157 140 5
Air TBolt --- 5200m 750m 1s 160 Mgun 1.5m 10 43 600 50 20 800
All stats are current as of release 0.11.4


First developed by the Federated Commonwealth in the mid-3050s for the Solaris arenas, the Thunderbolt launcher is an offshoot of standard LRM technology. Instead of firing a group of missiles, the Thunderbolt launchers fire a single missile that inflicts as much damage as an Autocannon/5, an Autocannon/10, a Gauss rifle or an Autocannon/20, respectively. This increased damage is made up for by the slightly reduced range and increases to the weapon's heat and weight. The Thunderbolt missile is also more vulnerable to anti-missile systems.

In CBT, Thunderbolt missile launchers cannot use Artemis IV or Narc guidance systems, but operate like LRMs in every other way.
BattleTech reference


The following Inner Sphere assets equip Thunderbolts:

TBolt5 TBolt10 TBolt15 TBolt20 Air TBolt
All lists are current as of release 0.11.4